Wednesday October 05, 2022

Comment: ISI operatives directed to stay away from politics

According to sources, DG ISI Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum has made it clear to all officials that no interference in politics would henceforth be tolerated

February 25, 2022

ISLAMABAD: In a major development, operatives of the country’s top intelligence agency – the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) -- have been strictly directed to stay away from politics.

Informed sources say that the incumbent DG ISI, Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum, has made it clear to all officials of the ISI that no interference in politics and political matters would henceforth be tolerated. It is said that soon after his appointment as the top spymaster of the country, Gen Nadeem conveyed his thoughts to all the senior officials of the ISI.

Unfortunately, the ISI --which is seen as the first line of defence for Pakistan-- has been the focus of controversies in the past for having been used for political engineering. For the same reason, the agency has always been the topic of discussion for political parties and the media. The unauthorised political role of the agency, which otherwise is doing a wonderful job for the defence and security of Pakistan, has dented the reputation of the ISI.

The incumbent DG ISI is said to have decided soon after he assumed his new assignment to keep the institution away from politics in order to steer clear from unnecessary controversies and remain focused on its prime job.

Retired Lt General Amjad Shoaib, when contacted, said that he has no direct information about this development but keeping in view the profile and past record of the incumbent DG ISI, he believed that such instructions must have been issued. General Shoaib said that what he knows about the DG ISI is that he is a non-political person.

General Shoaib said that keeping in view the past controversies surrounding the agency, it was a good decision on the part of the incumbent to stay away from politics.

In the recent past, some opposition political leaders have been complaining about the political interference of some ISI officials. During the last few decades, the agency has been repeatedly used, mostly by military dictators, in political wheeling-dealings and the making and breaking of political parties and governments.

For the same reason, there has been a constant demand that the agency should not be dragged into politics and its political role must be ended. In recent years, many opposition political parties and their leaders have complained about the agency’s interference in politics.

It was earlier reported by this newspaper that following his appointment as DG ISI, Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum had conveyed to all the concerned authorities not to release to the media his pictures or video footage taken during official meetings. As a welcome result, none of his pictures or video footage taken during official meetings has so far been published or shown on TV channels.

Although the present DG ISI’s approach and his initiative will help avoid dragging the institution into unnecessary controversies for now, it is not clear how to make it a permanent feature.

Over three decades back, a high-level commission -- the Air Chief Marshal Zulfiqar Ali Khan Commission -- was set up by the then government of Benazir Bhutto to evolve a system for the agencies’ oversight but no government could get the recommendations of the body implemented. In the absence of an oversight system, these agencies in the past have been involved in politics, in the making and breaking of governments and political parties.

The Zulfiqar Ali Khan Commission had recommended a two-tier oversight mechanism for the spy agencies, including the ISI and the IB. However, the proposed system remained unimplemented. The commission had recommended the formation of a prime minister-led National Security Council and the setting up of a Joint Intelligence Committee to ensure that the intelligence agencies operate within the parameters of their respective legal and constitutional mandate.


    Ashfaq ahmed commented 7 months ago

    Better if they keep away from this 'dirty game'. But it was ZAB who had suggested a political cell in the ISI. It also is on record that the corrupt and Maha-corrupt politicians drag them into politics (like visiting Gate No 4 of GHQ). The policy may differ from one DG ISI to other.

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    NO COMMENTS commented 7 months ago


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      Khan commented 7 months ago

      If this happened all the khan will be happy

    Nayyar Ameen commented 7 months ago

    Thank God. Every institution or department must perform its assigned duties and never extend any unassigned task. It's better for all departments and for the whole nation.

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    I personally Salute to the General Sahib and pray for the bright future of the Country. commented 7 months ago


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